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rebooting


shadow1100mfp
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last night when i was using my laptop it restarted out of no where; but now it can't start at all. i tried restarting it several times last night; no success so i figured id let it cool down to room temp (not operating temp) and try again in the morning; i still can't get it to boot at all, even the windows disk, and once in every 15 or 20 restarts i get it to boot a little but after a few seconds it restarts again. anyidea whats going on/what to do? am i suddenly in the market for a new laptop?

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ok. i looked for spinrite and the only one i can find you have to pay for; is there a shareware or free version of it?

no

The free option is to boot a Linux live distro, backup all the data on the drive and reinstall. It is possible that SpinRite will make it seem as if nothing ever went wrong (to the OS).

Also, reinstalling may not fix the problem if the problem is a bad sector and it happens to be in a critical location (MBR, partition table or the boot record of a partition for example), in which case you would need to use some thing like SpinRite to try and make the drive usable again.

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How old is the laptop?

What are the signs that it is a bad HDD though and not some malware or boot virus? Any clicking noises from the HDD right before it crashes or reboots, BSOD's, etc.

Can you get to the BIOS before booting, and if so does the mahcine stay up and how long? What does the date say in the bios?

Try a live disc and see how long it stays running. If it runs off a live cd without rebooting, might not be the hdd. You can try opening and writing to the HDD from a live cd(most of them automatically mount the hdd so you can read files, make changes, etc).

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How old is the laptop?

What are the signs that it is a bad HDD though and not some malware or boot virus? Any clicking noises from the HDD right before it crashes or reboots, BSOD's, etc.

Can you get to the BIOS before booting, and if so does the mahcine stay up and how long? What does the date say in the bios?

Try a live disc and see how long it stays running. If it runs off a live cd without rebooting, might not be the hdd. You can try opening and writing to the HDD from a live cd(most of them automatically mount the hdd so you can read files, make changes, etc).

it's a few years old, but not old enough to be doing this i don't believe. no signs of damage either as far as i can tell.

how do i get a live disk? recommended linux os?

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I would recommend Ubuntu. Others probably will also.

If your computer is too old to run Ubuntu (256MB of RAM will just cut it for the live disk) there is also Damn Small Linux which will run on pretty much any computer with a Pentium 1 processor or newer. It does have a bit of a learning curve. It uses a desktop environment that is completely different to Windows and doesn't make it 'noob friendly' to access the hard disk form the live disk.

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I think there is a flaw in your sentence logic.

How so? My grammar may be bad, but how would booting off a live disc not show if the HDD is the problem. MBR may be screwed up, so getting it to boot from a live disc or use a recovery disc to fix it may help, but still, how do you even know it's a HDD problem that is causing it if the machine won't stay running. Might have been some malware that screwed something up.

All computers I have ever had with bad HDD's that went, usually just made clicking noises until they froze, with no reboots. Maybe his HDD is still fixable to some extent. Bad sectors or corrupted files might make it reboot continuously, or a screwed MBR, but if you are using a live disc to start the machine, the HDD doesn't have a chance to crap out and cause a reboot unless it's something purely hardware related, which might not even be the HDD.

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If it runs off a live cd without rebooting, might not be the hdd.

Since the live disk will only use the hard drive if it can, it won't reboot ever even if every sector on the hard drive is corrupt. You will probably see a continues stream of I/O errors spammed to tty0 as the kernel tries to enumerate the drive for geometry sizes and read the partition table, but it shouldn't kernel panic (unless there is a bug in the kernel).

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I would recommend Ubuntu. Others probably will also.

If your computer is too old to run Ubuntu (256MB of RAM will just cut it for the live disk) there is also Damn Small Linux which will run on pretty much any computer with a Pentium 1 processor or newer. It does have a bit of a learning curve. It uses a desktop environment that is completely different to Windows and doesn't make it 'noob friendly' to access the hard disk form the live disk.

256mb is what it has; which one has a learning curve, ubuntu or damnsmalllinux? which is easier to get in, do the dirty work, and get done as fast as possible? sadly, this laptop is what i have my college application papers saved on; i have them backed up but the newest versions of them are on here so id like to get this laptop up and running asap since i need to start applying to colleges

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ubuntu

i'll try ubuntu first; then dsl then if those don't work ill try spinrite or that other program on the list.

im trying to do this as cheap/free as possible because i just bought a mustang a few days ago, and i still owe about $1500. otherwise i'd just buy it as i know i'll probably be needing it soon enough anyway (3 harddrives in my car for the stereo, 3 computers and 2 laptops, random harddrives from friends that they didnt want anymore, etc.)

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Stopped where? Could you give a little more info please?

Sounds like you've not correctly burned the Ubuntu ISO to a disk and it's not booting to the disk, then looking for the next avaliable boot drive (your dud HD) and crashing there.

Ensure you're using an app like Nero to burn the Ubuntu ISO as an **Image disk**. Make sure you're not just burning the ISO directly onto the disk. It needs to be burned as an ISO (Nero extracts the ISO and then places the files onto the CD).

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i downloaded ubuntu and dsl, and neither i could get to boot. idk if i did it right (when asked i booted from cd drive, and it just stopped there)

If Ubuntu or DLS won't boot, you are probably going to have the same problem with SpinRite. How did you burn the disk? Did you burn it as a data disk or burn the image to the disk?

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If Ubuntu or DLS won't boot, you are probably going to have the same problem with SpinRite. How did you burn the disk? Did you burn it as a data disk or burn the image to the disk?

i used some iso burning software idont remember the name though i only downloaded it to burn the iso then i deleted it.

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